Just a day after his previous choice resigned under a storm of criticism, Medellín Mayor Daniel Quintero named Colombian civil engineer Jorge Andrés Carrillo Cardoso as the CEO and general manager of city-owned utility conglomerate Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM). During an extraordinary session on April 13, EPM’s board of directors unanimously approved the decision.
According to a press release issued by EPM, Carrillo has held many governmental and organizational positions after graduating from the University of the Andes with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and a master’s degree in environmental management. He has in the past served as Colombia’s vice minister of water and basic sanitation, president of the potable water and sanitation commission, counselor to the board of directors of the Colombian Geological Service, counselor of the National Water Council, member of the National Environmental Council, and the Intersectoral Commission on Climate Change.
Carrillo has also held several advisory positions and according to EPM< has lectured on water security and public services. Regarding the announcement, Jorge Andrés Carrillo Cardoso stated: “For me it is an honor to manage EPM. All my life I have admired her, I have cared about her and being in charge of the company is a great challenge. I hope that we continue working with the talent of EPM and the board of directors so that more and more Colombians have better services.”
Carrillo appears to be a qualified engineer and experienced in navigating government, his appointment does demonstrate either an inability or unwillingness of Medellín’s increasingly embattled mayor Daniel Quintero to appoint a head of the multibillion-dollar utility, or even board members with corporate leadership experience. As EPM is embroiled in lawsuits (initiated by the mayor) against the consortium it chose to build the Hidroituango hydroelectric project, and the company works to digest its recently acquired Caribbean electrical utility serving Cartagena and the surrounding area, corporate governance, and a strong, independent CEO will be critical.
Bond investors and ratings agencies will be watching closely for signs that Carrillo has both the autonomy and acumen to successfully move the company forward while avoiding the political intrigue brewing in Colombia’s second largest city.
Photo courtesy: EPM